Monday, November 30, 2009

Jai Ganesha: The Power of Mantra

The Power of Mantra: Jai Ganesha!

Like many this Thanksgiving, I found myself making the annual pilgrimage to visit my biological family. My second day home, I took my father to lunch after he received a transfusion from a new medical procedure he was participating in to assist with his degenerative rheumatoid arthritis. This new treatment involved infusing rat cells into his body so his immune system attacked the rat cells instead of his joints. This launched us into a conversation about animal totem medicine and the rat as a miraculous survivor-based animal and also a sacred vehicle of transport to Lord Ganesha the elephant headed deity.

Later that afternoon, my father and I worked together to assemble some advertising for his HVAC business that was recently hurting due to the temperate weather and the economy. As we were working on the advertisements, my father suddenly gasped and stood straight up and then crumpled over bracing himself on the wall. His leg had cramped up and a shooting pain had overtaken the entire left side of his body, a possible complication from the infusion. Shaking, he braced himself against a wall. I took his hand and began immediately chanting a Ganesh Mantra ‘Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha.’ This is a mantra that my spirit defaults to in crisis situations. Chanting over and over aloud, holding my father’s hand, I walked him to his bed and chanted over him moving energy. I slowly repeated the chant inviting my father to repeat it too. After about twenty minutes of chanting, the pain released from his body and the ferocious energy that had previously crippled him moved through and was dissipated. I wrote that mantra down for him and he carried the mantra in his shirt pocket that evening while he taught an HVAC class at the trade school where he works part-time. Anytime pain crept up on him, he chanted the mantra and it subsided. Later that evening, a fellow teacher also approached him about hiring him for a large HVAC job that as a result would support his business that was really feeling the pinch form the economy. My father came home amazed and asked me more questions about Ganesh and I wrote down another mantra for him to try “Om Sri Ganeshaya Namaha”

Ganesh has recently become somewhat of a pop-icon in the yoga and new-age movement of the West, and why not? He is often depicted as red with a large, round belly, four arms and an unmistakable elephant head. He’s most commonly hailed as the remover of obstacles and Lord of Success. Who wouldn’t want a red-headed elephant God with a jolly belly removing their obstacles and helping them succeed? A few things about Ganesh: He resides in the root chakra, which is our spiritual center of survival, foundation, tribe, family, basic needs, which is why its useful to chant his mantra for just about anything from a travel blessings, to health, to abundance, to resolving conflict. When I travel, I chant to Ganesh. When the plane takes off and lands safely, Ganesh is my man. When I sprain my ankle, I chant to Ganesh for a speedy recovery. When I began a project, Ganesh’s name is on my lips. I carry totems to him in my house including at the front door, on every altar and even a mini alter in the bathroom, for which I’ve been repeatedly reprimanded by many Hindu students of mine who have visited my temple space. Worried that I may be offending Ganesh with this represenation of him, I chanted and meditated on the placement of this small altar. When I checked in with Ganesh about this I downloaded: "Those earnest and sincere in their worship will always be blessed." He also said that this particular statue and representation very much wanted to be in the bathroom and he felt honored in the way he was being presented in there celebrating the holy body and sensual spirit.

Jai Gnaesha! Jai Ganesha!

A Month of Gratitude

A Month of Gratitude:
On Halloween night, I was walking past a Goddess topped fountain on 5th Ave and 58th St. by Central Park South when I decided to throw a few coins in and make a wish. One of my wishes was that I would always be conscious of and in a state of gratitude for the abundance in my life. This Tuesday, I was in midtown for a lunch and a yoga class before heading to the bank to deposit my 'material abundance' to pay my bills. Finishing my lunch, I left to head to the bank, but something told me to stop in a uesd bookstore right next to where I had lunch. As I walked in, there was a deck of Guardian Angel affirmation cards that for some reason I knew I had to purchase. I picked them up and walked over to the register, reached in my bag to pull out my wallet and realized it was not there. I didn't immediately go into panic as I had another bag to look into where I could have easily put it. Not in there either. My face went flush and hot as I immediatley went into a feeling of vertigo. Disorientation swept over me. How did this happen? What was in there? What credit cards to be cancelled? I excused myself from paying for the angel cards and went back next door to the Cafe. 'My wallet is long gone by now' I thought. All that work. I scanned the crowd at the Asian Bakery where I had just eaten. It was overwhelmingly busy. All was lost. I meekly walked up to one of the eight cahiers running different registers at lunch hour rush. 'Did someone turn in a wallet?' I asked. She looked at me blankely. 'Yeah, right,'I thought, 'in New York City?' 'Oh yes! What color?' she said. In disbelief I stared at her. 'Red, with colored circles,' I said. 'One moment.' She left the counter and went into the back. When she returned, she was holding a wallet. It was mine. I watched her bring it to me. There was no way the huge stack of cash I had was still in there. She placed it in my hands. 'This yours?' she smiled. 'Yes' I said barely audible. My heart beating deep in my chest. I unsnapped the top. Every green bill stacked neaty in its place to pay my November bills was still intact. I sputtered for a moment, tearing. 'Thanks,' I said quietly and walked out. Disoriented I walked next door, bought the angel cards, went to the bank and then came home. A myriad of scenarios raced through my mind that afternoon. When I returned home, I went immediately to meditate and tap into Source Wisdom. When asking about what the universe was trying to teach me about this experience, I heard in reply 'Isis, this is what you asked for. To be conscious of and in a state of gratitude for the abundance in your life.' I jolted out of my meditaiton with a hearty laugh.

Thank you, Thank you for these teachings, this gratitude and this abundance.

Let us celebrate with Gratitude this Month:
What are you grateful for, materially and spiritually? Are you grateful for your body? For all it does for you everyday? How do you express gratitude towards your body? Through self-pleasuring, through yoga, through consicous eating, through education through spiritual nourishment? What reltionships are you grateful for and how are you expressing your gratitude in them? When prayers are answered or intentions manifest, do you openly express thanks? I invite you to take a moment each morning before you begin your day to contemplate gratitude.

In Love and Gratitude for you!
ISIS Phoenix